The Bears came in to their last game looking to salvage a win to close out what has been an exhausting season.
It didn't happen.
Instead, the Bears lost their sixth straight game and despite two controversial calls to end the game, the Bears had a chance to win it in the final minute of the game.
Trailing 24-14, the Bears struck quickly when Zach Smith hit Ishmael Zamora in stride for a long TD. With under 3 minutes, the Bears played the onside kick perfectly and recovered the ball to breathe life into their comeback bid. But a new rule, passed just this year, allowed the refs to review the play and call an illegal block on Baylor and force the Bears to re-kick. On replay, it seemed to show that the Baylor player was blocked in to the West Virginia player causing the block. The play was subsequently overturned and on re-kick WVU recovered the onside kick.
With WVU trying to run down the clock, the Baylor defense stepped up, forcing a 3 and out and getting the ball back to the Baylor offense.
With under a minute to play, Baylor began their drive at their 20 yd line, only needing a field goal to send the game in to overtime. On the last play of the game, Zach Smith dropped back and was stripped of the ball. On the fumble, Baylor OL Ishmael Wilson picked up the ball and tossed it forward. As the play was called dead, the officials said that the "pass" by Wilson was an illegal touching penalty but Baylor would retain the ball. On review, however, the call was overturned as the officials claimed that Wilson didn't have control/possession of the ball.
West Virginia ball.
Baylor loses 24-21.
The Briles era at Baylor is over.
The players have been through so much but showed a ton of heart in a game when they could have laid down and just gone through the motions. It will take a few days to really digest this season, but one thing is for certain, the players deserve so much respect and admiration for what they have gone through this year. Although things are at their worst, right now, the future is bright, as several true freshmen played and showed their great but raw talent on the field.
Baylor will look to name their new HC this week.
Keep it tuned to BearsIllustrated.com for all the latest on the Baylor coaching search.